Situated in North Corsica in the far northwest of the island, in Balagne Region, Ile Rousse was formelly called « Isola Rossa » until 1848. It gets its name from the rocky islets of red porphyry.
The town-centre is marked out by Marinella Beach.
Ile Rousse is composed of an archipelago of small islands giving the impression of an island in the island:
– Saletta, the first linking up by a bridge the archipelago to the coastal,
– E Trè Petra situated in the centre composed of 3 small islands linking up Saletta to Isula Grande,
– Ile de la Pietra, the smallest island on the site of A Petra where is located the lighthouse. This one is linked up to the port,
– Isula Di U Brocciu in front of Funtanaccia and at the east of the lighthouse,
– Isula Piana next to Isula Di U Brocciu,
– Brocettu, the smallest.
A FEW NUMBERS
Population : 3424 inhabitants (FNISES 2014 Sources)
Territory : 2.5km²
Passengers Traffic in the port: 407 145 passengers (2010)
Ile Rousse is also well served by transports and disposes of:
– A port, the 3rd of Corsica according to its traffic of passengers and merchandise, it is the only authorized to unload hazardous material.
– A marina of 450 sport rings.
– A railway line linking up Calvi to Ponte Leccia operated by the Corsican railways.
Archaeological excavations were undertaken on the island of Pietra and stones from the Neolithic Era were found.
During the period of classical antiquity the town of Agila is a very populated, prosperous small town that is dependent on the Phoenician city-state of Tyre (today Lebanon + regions of Syria and Palestine).
In the 4th century , it is plundered by the Phoenicians, becomes Roman and is renamed « Rubico Rocega » (red rock).
Then, like all the coastal towns of the island, Ile Rousse is invaded by the Barbarians and is completely abandoned by its inhabitants.
From the 17th century on the inhabitants of the coastal village of Santa Reparata open warehouses and by sea they supply the coastal villages of the region as well as those of Niebbo and a part of Cap Corse.
In 1758, Pascal Paoli decides to build a port to put a stop to the region’s trading with Genoa. He occupies a part of the Monticello territory, which will become the future town of Ile Rousse (it will only get this name in 1825).
In 1765, he builds fortifications around the port, and notably 2 large gates that give access to the towns of Algajola and Santa Di Reparata.
– The Church of the Immaculate Conception & Parish Church built in 1892 in the town-centre
– Notre Dame de la Miséricorde Church & ancient convent
– The lighthouse of la Pietra (19th Century)
– The Paoli Square (1834)
– The covered up marketplace (1844)
– The statue of « la Baigneuse » (the bathing woman) on Paoli square
– The genovese tower on the La Pietra Island
Over 10 years ago, the « Route des Artisans de Balagne » was launched: on this route you can admire the craftsmanship of yesteryear such as that of glass-makers, potters, cutlers, jewellery makers, string-instrument makers, olive growers, beekeepers, wine makers…